Tuesday, January 11, 2022

What Was I Thinking??

Oh, wait. I wasn’t. 

For some reason I went wild in the final months of 2021 and bought every book I wanted, without hesitation. This stack represents what’s closest to the alarm clock on my bedside table, which means what I’m most likely to crack open at night. It doesn’t include the Recently Read (James McBride’s “Deacon King Kong”) or the Audio Books I’ve listened to while exercising (Louise Penny and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “State of Terror” and David Sedaris’s “A Carnival of Snackery”) or the three other stacks of Intended Reads taking up the rest of the table. 

It’s a fairly capacious beside table. Any more capacious and it’d be a book shelf. And I won’t tell you how many unread books are on my bookshelves … 

What’s WRONG with me?? I’m so greedy, SO greedy when it comes to books! And then, I spread myself too thin, trying to read them all at once. It’s like a box of mixed chocolates, where you take a bite of one, then return it to the box (for later) while you move on to the next.

True fact: you never go back to that half-bit chocolate. And you wind up with a ruined box of once perfectly good candy. 

Books are too precious to waste. 

So I’m making a resolution. Putting it here in a blog post, for goodness sake, just to make it REAL. Getting it on the record. Making myself accountable, if you will:

From this day forward, I will finish all books I begin and I will do my very best to not read more than three at a time. 

Yes: three at a time. That’s because I’m in two separate book groups, plus I need to have a new Young Adult read going at all times, plus there are all the OTHER books I want to read, so … three is an absolute bare bones minimum.

Right now I’m ripping through “Lost Children Archive” by Valeria Luiselli because one of my groups meets next week to discuss it and I’ve got miles to go. I’m also halfway through Lily King’s new short story collection “Five Tuesdays in Winter” and I’m doing this really horrible thing (I’m sorry, Lily!) where I’m also reading George Saunder’s “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” which is essentially a masterclass on the short story, using Chekov and other Russian Greats as texts-in-point. I’m kinda then examining how Lily pulls it off … 

Which trust me, she does! I know: friends don’t let friends compare each other’s work to Chekov. God knows my books couldn’t hold up to the comparison. But I’m working on my own short stories now and “learning” from the best. Which includes Lily King. 

Okay, it’s 7 degrees outside right now so I’m off to throw another log on the fire. And READ.

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